By Gabriel Agbonlahor

9th Sep, 2021 | 9:30am

Pundit: Liverpool may be set to sell two stars Klopp calls 'absolutely incredible'

Liverpool may have handed Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips new contracts because they want to maximise a potential sale.

That is the view of ex-Aston Villa and England star Gabby Agbonlahor, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as both defenders signed new deals with the Anfield club.

Williams, 20, signed a new five-year deal with Liverpool on deadline day before heading to Swansea City on a season-long loan.

Meanwhile, his defensive partner last season Phillips committed his future to the Reds until the summer of 2025.

He will stay with the Merseyside giants until at least January but looks set to be Jurgen Klopp’s fifth-choice centre-back.

Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are now all fully fit while Liverpool signed Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £49million in fees and wages this summer.

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“They just wanted to tie down their two young defenders down,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“Maybe in their future, it might be easier to sell for more.

“Probably, as well, because they know they’re not going to play, you can sign them up on contracts, reward them with new contracts and let them go out on loan. You then know they are available if there is an injury crisis again.

“You can recall them from their loan spells, put a recall clause in there just in case you need them.”

Williams and Phillips enjoyed breakout campaigns last term and Klopp, via the Daily Mirror, labelled them as “absolutely incredible”.

The pair played a key role as the Reds secured a third-place finish last term despite a defensive injury crisis.

In other news, an ex-Premier League referee has ripped into a persistent Liverpool rule-breaker and has demanded FA intervention.